It’s a received wisdom that whatever our line of work there are some immovable objects. Things that are in the way, that have to be circumvented,. got over, or gone under. It might be a system, a process, a person, a policy. Or maybe a great big lump of rock.
I have just got back from 3 days in Stockholm talking to directors and managers in city districts in the city about the challenges and solutions facing Scottish and Swedish local government. Outside my hotel was a construction site. Part of a scheme to connect the city tram system to a local railway station.
The main work on-going was the removal of granite in large quantities. I was told by a local this is routine. Massive boulders everywhere, because Stockholm is built on solid rock. The solution is placing small charges of explosive – no one charge big enough to do an collateral damage – in large numbers to shatter the problem rock. When exploded they shatter the boulder which can then be removed by diggers and trucks. No need to secure the area, make property safe etc. Just a daily occurrence.
I think this is “nudge”. Lots of small things taking a problem to a new place. So how can we shatter the problems facing us today? One big bang with lots of collateral damage? Or many much smaller actions that get us where we need to be?